2011 Volvo XC90 Review
Safe, comfortable SUV.
The Volvo XC90 packs a lot of space into a good-looking, manageably sized vehicle. It's better than most competitors for hauling children around, with superior cargo and seating flexibility, and it's loaded with Volvo's trademark safety technology. It's available with the mechanical simplicity of front-wheel drive if a buyer doesn't need all-wheel-drive capability. The superior handling of the mid-range R-Design model is fun, but the base XC90 3.2 six-cylinder is better than adequate for nearly all purposes, and it represents a better value.
NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Sam Moses reported from the Columbia River Gorge, with Larry Edsall in Gothenburg, Sweden, Mitch McCullough in Los Angeles, and J.P. Vettraino in Detroit.
Model Line Overview
|Model Lineup:||Volvo XC90 3.2 ($38,200); 3.2 R-Design ($40,200); V8 ($48,000)|
|Engines:||3.2-liter dohc inline-6 variable valve timing|
|Transmissions:||6-speed automatic with Geartronic manual mode|
|Safety Equipment (standard):||dual-threshold front airbags, front passenger side-impact airbags, curtain style head-protection airbags (for all outboard seats), rollover protection system with roll stability control, dynamic stability control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, tire-pressure monitor, rear park assist, all-wheel drive|
|Safety Equipment (optional):||Blind Spot Information System, active headlamps|
|Basic Warranty:||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Assembled In:||Gothenburg, Sweden|
Specifications As Tested
|Model Tested (MSRP):||Volvo XC90 3.2 R-design ($40,200)|
|Standard Equipment:||leather upholstery with genuine wood trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air conditioning, 8-way power-adjustable driver's seat with memory, 8-way power-adjustable passenger's seat with flat-folding feature, third-row seat, second-seat booster cushion, power glass sunroof, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, 160-watt AF/FM/CD, auxiliary jack and eight speakers, power-adjustable heated exterior mirrors with turn-signal indicators, power windows, cruise control, remote keyless entry, illuminated vanity mirrors, trip computer, auto-dimming inside rearview mirror, universal garage-door opener, grocery bag holders in cargo area, three 12-volt power outlets, rear wiper/washer, roof rails, fog lamps, stainless steel front skid plate, self-leveling suspension, Bluetooth, Sirius satellite radio|
|Options As Tested (MSRP):||Climate Package ($800) with heated front seats, headlight washers, rain-sensing wipers, humidity sensor and an Interior Air Quality System. The Multimedia Package ($2,700) including HDD navigation with real-time traffic, remote control and map care, Dynaudio Premium sound system featuring Dolby Pro Logic Surround Sound, backup camera. The Dynamic Package ($1,400), exclusive to the R-Design model, adds bi-xenon headlights with active light bending and 255/45R20 tires on 20-inch wheels. All-wheel drive with traction control ($2,000), Blind Spot Information system ($700)|
|Gas Guzzler Tax:|
|Price as tested (MSRP)||48675|
|Horsepower (hp @ rpm):||240 @ 6200|
|Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):||236 @ 3200|
|Transmission:||6-speed automatic with Geartronic manual mode|
|EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:||16/22|
|Head/hip/leg room, f:||39.7/55.4/41.0|
|Head/hip/leg room, m:||38.4/54.1/34.6|
|Head/hip/leg room, r:||35.5/44.5/30.1|
|Suspension, f:||independent, MacPherson struts, stabilizer bar|
|Suspension, r:||independent, multi-link with coil springs, hydraulic shocks, stabilizer bar|
|Brakes, f/r:||vented disc/disc with four-channel ABS, EBD and Brake Assist|
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2011 Volvo XC90, click here: 2011 Volvo XC90.